An Agency Guide to Awards Submissions

Agency award season is upon us, and that means there are plenty of opportunities to submit your work for the recognition it deserves. Sure, you might not have charged for much of the work you’ll enter, and many consumers have heard of the brands it’s for, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worthy of some metal. With that in mind, here are some tips to consider for this year’s awards submissions:

Enter in every category possible
It’s simple math: The more categories that you can somehow squeeze your submission into, the better chance you stand of walking away with some silverware. Or glass. Or maybe some plastic. One thing’s for sure, awards organizers don’t often turn entries away at $500 a piece, so go ahead and hedge your bets.

Always talk about the blogosphere
Once a nice little added extra, the blogosphere reference has now become an integral part of every awards submission. If your work didn’t cause blogs to “ignite,” “explode,” or otherwise combust, assume your entry will be laughed to the bottom of the pile. You don’t want that, so ensure those judges are fully aware of the ripples you caused across the industry. Just be careful to avoid mixed metaphors.

Assign top talent to handle submission videos
Sure, there are clients that need serving, but your agency also has a reputation to uphold. You can’t trust something as important as submission videos to junior staffers, so make sure your top brass is fully engaged. The juniors can hold the fort while the ECDs take care of the real business of award winning.

Get the Brit to do voiceovers
Let’s face it: Brits sound smarter than Americans, especially when talking about the world of media and advertising. Find an English woman to say “Twitter” a couple of times, and it’ll soon be clear she’s the best candidate for the submission video voiceover job. Even if she isn’t, every other agency has a Brit doing it, so just go with it.

Don’t forget the work is “real”
Chances are you dug pretty deep to find a dormant account that would actually agree to sign off on the work you’re entering, but it’s important to remember a client supposedly paid for it somewhere along the line. It makes sense, therefore, at least to attempt to tie in some sort of business metrics or outcomes. Maybe.

List your names prominently in the credits
Recruiters can be lazy, so do them a favor and make sure your names are prominently listed on all your submissions. In the event that you do win something, headhunters will be scouring those lists for targets, and you gotta be in it to win it. “It” most likely being a LinkedIn connection request or a random Twitter follow, but possibly a secret lunch meeting while you’re in Cannes.

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